Tag Archives: Monster Lair

PCE Review #3: Wonder Boy III (Monster Lair)

Game: Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
Genre: Platformer/Shooter
Developer: Alfa System
Publisher: Hudson
Format: CD-ROM2
Release date: 1989

I’m pretty sure I’ve told this story a number of times before, but I’m going to share it again just in case my memory is failing me (it certainly wouldn’t be the first time): Monster Lair was the game that prompted me to buy the TurboGrafx-16 CD attachment way back when. I’d never played–or even heard of–the arcade original, so that wasn’t what attracted me to this platformer-shooter hybrid. No, what attracted me to it was its bright, beautifully drawn graphics–especially its so-cute-they-could-make-you-puke enemies and bosses. There’s more to Monster Lair than fetching foes, though; there’s also a rockin’ Red Book soundtrack and a whole lotta challenging levels (14, to be exact). All that said, I wouldn’t buy this game expecting it to become your favorite PC Engine title, but I would expect it to be well worth whatever you pay for it (which, at this point, should be less than $20).

See also: Previous PCE Reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

If only I could read it while sitting on the toilet

On the hand, I love that the most recent issue–the fourth, for those of you who are counting–PC Engine Gamer is available, free of charge, to anyone who has access to the Internet. On the other hand, I don’t love that this online magazine isn’t “bathroom friendly,” if you get my drift.

That’s not to suggest I’ll be passing on this issue (below) because of the above-mentioned negative. After all, it includes lengthy reviews of Monster Lair and Rastan Saga II, a rather WTF-esque “fight to the death” between Golden Axe‘s Tyris Flare and Fantasy Zone‘s Opa Opa, and a “final countdown” that features the 10 best smart bombs in all of shoot ’em up-dom.

Which is to say that this 26-page issue is well worth a few minutes of your time (read it here) if you’re at all interested in the system I like to call NEC’s little white wonder.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

My last Monster Lair post (for the foreseeable future), I swear …

Here’s something I didn’t know about Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair before my copy of the game arrived a few days ago: In lieu of a traditional instructional manual, it comes with a 10-inch-by-14-inch piece of paper that’s been folded into a square.

The front side of said piece of paper is a poster:

The back side, on the other hand, contains all of the instructional stuff:

Click on either of the images above to get a better look at them.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Which box art is better (Monster Lair edition)

My recent purchase of Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair prompted me to recall my fondness for the art that graced the cover of the North American version of the game. (Honestly, it was one of the few pieces of TurboGrafx-16 box art that I liked.)

Here’s a scan of the game’s North American cover art, in case it’s been a while since you’ve seen it:

And here’s the Japanese version’s cover art:

I have to say, I think I prefer the art used for the North American release. Which one do you prefer?

See also:Which box art is better? (Exile 2 edition)

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Mysterious Monster Lair note

I recently ordered–though online import game shop wolfgames.com, which is having a going-out-of-business sale–a heavily discounted copy of Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (aka Monster Lair in the States).

While flipping through the game’s manual a few minutes ago (it arrived earlier today), a small piece of paper slipped out of it and fell onto the floor.

This is what I found when I unfolded it:

I can’t read a word of Japanese, so I have no idea what the note says. That hasn’t stopped me from obsessing about it, of course.

Was the author of this note a previous owner of the game? Did he or she like it, or hate it? Is he or she warning me that this copy of Wonder Boy III is cursed?

Those are the kinds of questions that are going through my head at the moment.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The PC Engine’s five fruitiest games

Here’s an admission you won’t come across on just any gaming blog: I love fruity games.

Now, when I say “fruity games,” I’m not talking about Cho Aniki or its ilk; I’m talking about games that are packed with so much actual fruit they should accompany every Edible Arrangements® order.

Anyway, the PC Engine was home to a good number of “fruity” games during its lifetime, with the following five being my favorites:

Coryoon–Naxat’s crazy cute ’em up would be well worth the price of admission even if fruit didn’t pop out of defeated enemies like they were the world’s healthiest piñatas (see screenshot below) thanks to its crisp, colorful graphics, cheerful music and tight controls. Plus, it stars a baby dragon!

Monster Lair (aka Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair)–Is there anything more satisfying than coming across certain pieces of fruit in this game and then shooting them until they erupt into even more pieces of fruit? OK, so I’m sure there are many more satisfying experiences in all of video game-dom, but I’m not sure there are in this particular title.

The New Zealand Story–I have to admit, the fruit in Taito’s cute-but-challenging platformer pales in comparison to its cool bosses, inflatable ducks and laser guns. Still, the apples, grapes and melons (no, not those kinds of melons) eradicated enemies leave behind serve to make this already sweet game even sweeter.

Parasol Stars–Like its predecessors, Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands, Parasol Stars (below) throws more than just fruit at players; it throws jewelry, pastries and vegetables at them, too. Is that more enticing and exciting than the title’s frantic gameplay? Actually, sometimes it is.

Rainbow Islands–What does Rainbow Islands offer gamers that Parasol Stars doesn’t? Rainbows, for starters. Oh, and stars! That’s not to say it’s a prissy pushover–in fact, it packs quite a punch in terms of bosses, enemies and levels. Just think of the fruit–and treats and veggies–you collect along the way as sweet rewards for your troubles.

Honorable mention: Don Doko Don, PC Genjin and PC Genjin 2.

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized